2012 Economic Yearbook
Rendering of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. Groundbreaking was held in February, and completion is set for late 2014.
» Condos: From sales of existing condos (largely to foreign investors) to rentals of investment condos and new development, the condo business is booming. In 2011, the average sales price of new units rose 21% in the downtown area, according to CondoVultures.com. In downtown Miami alone, 10 towers are proposed or already in progress, which has lead to a resurgence of construction cranes and sales parties.
» Museum Park: Although their new homes in Museum Park won't be finished until 2014 or later, the city's museums are already making huge waves. On the heels of a $35-million gift from Patricia and Phillip Frost, the Miami Science Museum garnered a $10-million pledge from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, bringing its fundraising total to $70 million of the $100 million it needs to raise for its new building. And developer Jorge Perez's $35-million gift to Miami Art Museum in late 2011 has further raised the visibility of the city's museum scene.
The Miami Marlins play in the new Marlins Park. The SEC is investigating the city/county deal to cover 80% of the stadium's cost. [Photo: Aerial Photography Inc.]
» Stadium deal: The deal for the Miami Marlins' new stadium continues to plague city government, which looks to be stuck with an annual tax bill of up to $2 million for the stadium's garages, which the city believed would be exempt from property taxes. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the negotiations surrounding both the city's and county's commitments to cover 80% of the stadium's $634-million cost. And with the ballpark set to host its first game this month, the city has neither the plans nor the funding for promised mass transit routes that would alleviate the lack of adequate game-day parking in the area.
Businesses to Watch
» Espacio USA: The arm of Spain-based Inmobiliaria Espacio is developing a mixed-use project on two properties it holds near Genting's proposed resort while ramping up leasing on the existing office and mixed-used buildings.
» Swire Properties: The Hong Kong-based company's multiphase, 9.1-acre, $700-million Brickell CitiCentre in downtown Miami is the most ambitious project after Genting's.
» Walmart: Controversially, Walmart is expected to break ground this year on its first super store in the city, in the heart of the hip dining and living area Midtown.
People to Watch
» Christian Goode: The president of Genting's Resorts World Miami leads development of the 30-acre destination resort the company plans for downtown Miami and will likely be a force in efforts to get the state, county and city to approve turning it into a casino resort.
» Albert Santalo: CareCloud's president and CEO is one of the leaders of a nascent but strengthening group of tech entrepreneurs in the city, having raised more than $20 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firms for his web-based medical practice software company.
» Alicia Cervera Lamadrid: The managing partner of Cervera Real Estate has long specialized in selling condo units for developers. With the recession easing and sales in the city ramping back up, she's one of the go-to condo brokers for a new wave of sales, using new ideas that largely target foreign buyers.
Issue to Watch
» Downtown dining: The city's dining scene is finally in a position to compete with those in Miami Beach and Coral Gables. Some of the county's best dining can be found in Midtown, the Design District and even downtown Miami. But restaurants worry about competition, both from food trucks that haven't yet found a gathering place in city limits and from the potential destination resort that Genting wants to build in the Omni area.